2 Champaign County residents arrested on federal charges related to involvement at Capitol riot

Chaos at the Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDTN) — Two Champaign County residents were arrested after criminal complaints were filed against both for participating in the U.S. Capitol riot Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Jessica Marie Watkins, 38, and Donovan Ray Crowl, 50, were both identified by federal agents after participating in the U.S. Capitol riot with other members of a militia organization. According to court documents, both are members of the Ohio State Regular Militia, a dues-paying subset of the Oath Keepers.

The agents that filed the affidavit in favor of charging them identified the Oath Keepers as “a large but loosely organized collection of militia who believe that the federal government has been coopted by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of their rights.”

Watkins’ profile on the app Parler also alleges that she is a Commanding Officer of the Ohio State Regular Militia.

Authorities said Watkins posted a video to her Parler account with the message: “Yeah. We stormed the Capitol today. Teargassed, the whole, 9. Pushed our way into the Rotunda. Made it into the Senate even. The news is lying (even Fox) about the Historical Events we created today.”

Other evidence referenced in the affidavit alleges that Watkins and Crowl were wearing helmets, reinforced vests and clothing with Oath Keeper paraphernalia on it. Photographs included by investigators show what appear to be both wearing the described gear.

Authorities said that the Oath Keepers looked organized and that they forced their way to the front of the crowd gathered around the door to the U.S. Capitol. Crowl also appears in photographs with other rioters in the rotunda.

Both Watkins and Crowl are being accused of:

  • Entering a restricted building or grounds — 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)
  • Violent entry or disorderly conduct — 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)
  • Obstruction of an official proceeding — 18 U.S.C § 1512(c)(2)

Watkins and Crowl were both arrested early Monday morning and are currently in Montgomery County Jail under federal charges.

Both appeared separately in court remotely on Tuesday. They each waived their right to an identity hearing.

Watkins detention and preliminary hearings will be held in D.C. at a later date. Crowl’s next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 22 at 11:30 a.m. in Dayton.

The complaint and affidavit filed for Watkins and Crowl are downloadable below:

WDTN.com will update this story when more information is available.

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